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Anthem by Ayn Rand

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Debby Harris

on 14 August 2013

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Transcript of Anthem by Ayn Rand

Anthem by Ayn Rand
Author Background
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on February 2, 1905
Witness Bolshevik Revolutions (Communism) during teenage years in Russia
Communist victory resulted in confiscation of her father's pharmacy and periods of near starvation for her family
Introduced to American history during her last year of high school
Believed America had the ideal society
In 1925, told Russia she was going to go "visit" US
Her Philosophy
Called "Objectivism" which focuses on "man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity"
Anthem: Background
Type of book: Novella (fun way to say a short novel/book)
Genre: Dystopian (like 1984, Animal Farm, Matched)
Published: 1937 (after first being rejected in 'Merica)
Style: Diary/journal
POV: Plural first person ("We" instead of "I")
(Time) Sometime in the distant future, after the collapse of "normal" gov't
(Place) Half narrated from underground tunnel (gee, what could that be?) and second half from Uncharted Forest
The individual...
The individual...
is owned by a group
has no right to privacy
has no right to lead his own life, pursue his own happiness, or use his own property
exists only as part of the group
(cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr
has rights
will not run anyone else's life, nor let anyone run theirs
will not rule or be ruled
will not sacrifice themselves to anyone, nor sacrifice anyone to themselves
Tell me: Collectivism or Individualism?

1."I shall choose friends among men, but neither slaves nor masters."

2. "The will of our brothers will be done."

3."Indeed you are happy...How else can man be when they live for their brothers?"

4. "It is my will that chooses..."

5. "We strive to be like our brother man, for all must be alike."
A Collectivist Classroom
Major Theme: Collectivism vs. Individualism
No more names!
Why? Some are better than others
Oh, and you were all factory made
No parents
You're all numbers!
Try to be average, ok?
No higher, lower grades - unfair
Speak when spoken to
No comments on appearance
Council of Learning will decide everything
Choose one.
-Is your purpose in life trying to do what makes YOU happy and fulfilled (career, location, etc)?


-Is your purpose to fulfill the needs of others (career that would best fit society, live where you're needed, etc)?
"...and if you're not needed by your brother men, there is no reason for you to burden this earth..."


"...endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness..."

Is Anthem a realistic portrayal of life in a totalitarian society?
Real Totalitarian societies: Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Cuba, China, Cambodia
Significance of lightbulb?
"Another Brick in the Wall" by Pink Floyd
Full transcript